I woke up to the sound of someone laying on their horn. Outside my window. And seeing as I don’t live in Times Square, this is unusual. I sprang to the window thinking something MUST be wrong, only to find a Cadillac driving about -5 miles an hour up and down my street laying on their horn.
We had not yet reached 7am.
Up and down. Back and forth, ’round and ’round and ’round the small courtyard. Laying . On. The. Horn.
Not yet 7am.
I curled back in bed and pounded my fist against my forehead. Over and over and over.
It was almost (ALMOST) laughable. Because it was the perfect summary of the last few weeks.
The world has been yelling. Horns have been blaring. Life has been at a fever pitch. Louder than I can handle. Coming at me from all directions. Like megaphones blasting in my direction as I’ve sat there and wondering if all the yelling people can’t hear the others yelling their stories my direction as well.
And as the world has yelled, I felt the Lord grow silent. There are seasons He has so much to say I can’t take it all in, but in this season He’s been all but silent and yesterday I found myself praying the lyrics from a popular song.
“Say something I’m giving up on you.”
Because as the world yelled, my Lord grew quiet. And my heart grew a little frantic, for Him to say something, ANYTHING.
To speak sense or peace into the madness. To utter anything letting me know that in the fever pitch, His still quiet presence was there.
Because I wasn’t actually giving up on Him, but my heart and mind were falling into the fever pitch rhythm. And I was frantic for Him.
Do you know what I’m saying? Have you felt the fever pitch? Have you stuck your fingers in your ears trying to drown out the scream of the world so that you can hear Him, only to not hear anything?
Not doubting that He’s there, but if He’s not going to use His voice to speak peace into existence, or to tell the storm to stop its raging then you wonder what you’re waiting on at all.
Like maybe the white roar is better than the nothing? And in the midst of the roar, the quiet almost seemed terrifying, and yet so completely and utterly necessary.
So we set aside a week for quiet and set-apartness and in the midst of that everything converged on itself and the long stretch of quiet turned into a tightly wound holler and I didn’t know if I should duck and cover or up and run.
Fight. Or flight.
They always say if you don’t make a choice, you’ve still made a decision, and I understood that acutely as I stayed. I might not be fighting, and I certainly wasn’t flight-ing, but I was staying.
At the end of the day where no choice was made but a decision was reached some clouds parted, literally and figuratively, and as the sun was setting this happened.
And in that moment it was like there was space to breathe again, as I sensed His whisper, “Just keep staying.”
The “say something” I had been waiting for.
Just. Keep. Staying.
In her book No Other Gods, Kelly Minter makes this great analogy about leaving a Tennessee Titans game mid game because they were losing so terribly. Only to find out once she was home the Titans had made the most amazing comeback, and in not staying, she missed it. Her analogy is fantastic and over the course of a few paragraphs, she says this: “…they just stayed. And sometimes that is all that is required…a lot can be said for simply hanging in there… I am telling you straight up—stay. When you’re too weary and disillusioned to do anything else, keep staying.” (pp. 144-145)
And the Bible is jam packed with those stories, the waiting seasons, the holding patterns. Like Joshua at Gilgal before Jericho. Moses. The Israelites. Elijah waiting for the Lord to speak on the mountain.
The waiting game. The “say something” game.
And the truth is, the answer might be as simple and as complicated and as grace-filled and as loud and as quiet as “Just keep staying.”
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.” Psalm 62:5